Home>News>Provincial>50 metric tons of food aid from UAE arrives in Albay province; Gov. Lagman thanks UAE’s royal family, PBBM for the donation

50 metric tons of food aid from UAE arrives in Albay province; Gov. Lagman thanks UAE’s royal family, PBBM for the donation

Edcel Grex Lagman

The 50 metric tons or 50,000 kilograms of food items that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government have donated arrived in Albay province Tuesday afternoon after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) swiftly mobilized its delivery trucks on Monday.

Upon the arrival of the food items, DSWD Bicol Regional Director Norman S. Laurio immediately turned-over the UAE donations to the Provincial Government of Albay headed by Governor Grex Lagman.

In his acceptance message, Gov. Lagman thanked President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the President of UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Royal family, and the Ambassador of UAE in the Philippines Abdulnasser Jamal Alshaali.

The Albay governor also thanked Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos, DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista, and Bureau of Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.

According to Gov. Lagman, the staff of the Albay provincial government will repack the donated food items and will immediately distribute the goods to all the affected families of Mayon’s heightened restiveness.

Secretary Gatchalian explained during Tuesday’s press briefing in Malacanang that the donation was facilitated by DILG Secretary Abalos and his counterpart, the Minister of Interior who is part of UAE’s royal family.

“All in-kind donations that [were] coursed through us will get to Albay in the fastest possible time. Every machinery of the government, I think, is already moving,” the DSWD chief said.

Besides the UAE-sponsored aid, Secretary Gatchalian said the DSWD has already deployed around 38,000 food packs to Albay across five three-day waves, servicing an estimated 8,000 families over 15 days.

Gatchalian explained that after the DSWD shouldered 15 days-worth of family food packs (FFPs), the Albay provincial government would take its turn feeding the affected families for six days. When this period ends on the 21st day, the DSWD will step in again to provide food packs for another 15 days.

“We want to complement each other’s resources rather than overlap each other’s resources,” Secretary Gatchalian pointed out.

Secretary Gatchalian said that if the volcanic unrest in Albay protracts to 90 days, the DSWD will reconvene with concerned local government units (LGUs) to form an “arrangement as to who feeds on what days.”

“Bottomline natin dito, lahat ng nilikas ng mga lokal na pamahalaan na nasa evacuation center, hawak na ng kanilang mga alkalde, local officials yung food for the next 15 days. After which the provincial government will step in (The bottom line is that for all those transferred to evacuation centers by local governments, their local officials already hold the food aid for the next 15 days.),” the DSWD secretary assured.

The DSWD is also considering deploying financial assistance as the family food packs only include “typical” goods that may not meet the needs of nursing mothers, small children, and senior citizens.

Under President Marcos’ directive, the amounts of such monetary aid are currently being discussed by the DSWD and concerned LGUs, according to Secretary Gatchalian.

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